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Everything you need to know about liver angioma

Hepatic angioma is a benign tumor mass (non-cancerous) arising in the liver , formed by an accumulation of blood vessels…

Hepatic angioma is a benign tumor mass (non-cancerous) arising in the liver , formed by an accumulation of blood vessels in the area.

Hepatic angioma

Hepatic angioma, also called hepatic hemangioma or cavernous hemangioma, is the most common of benign liver tumors , with an incidence of up to 20%.

It is a tumor, usually small (less than 5 centimeters) formed by a cell proliferation endothelial vascular, that is, the cells that make up the blood vessels.

The causes of the appearance of hepatic angioma are not entirely clear. In many cases, it is an anomaly congenital , which implies that you are born with it and in 10% of cases the angioma can be multiple.}


Everything you need to know about liver angioma

In most cases, the hepatic angiomas are asymptomatic . Its detection usually occurs during a medical examination intended to detect another type of condition.

Although hepatic angioma can be diagnosed at any age, it is most commonly detected between 30 and 50 years and is usually diagnosed more in women than in men .

Rarely, hemangiomas they can produce bleeds or interfere with the proper functioning of the liver. This usually occurs in a low percentage of cases, in which the liver angioma is broken.

When the angioma has a size larger than 5 centimeters, is usually talk about giant angioma . In these types of conditions, it is more common to have some type of symptom, due in part to the size of the tumor, which can compress adjacent organs.

Some symptoms that can be observed They are:

  • Sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the upper part of the abdomen
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Precocious satiety sensation


The diagnostic method of hepatic angiomas usually involves image analysis . The asymptomatology of this condition causes it to be diagnosed in a context destined to detect another type of pathology.

Some of the image analyzes in which the presence of a hepatic angioma can be revealed are:


Everything you need to know about liver angioma

Although in the vast majority of cases, hepatic angioma it does not usually lead to problems and people who suffer from it can live with the tumor without presenting any type of symptom, there are specific cases in which the condition can be complicated.

Again, these complications usually occur in cases in which the angioma exceeds 5 centimeters (giant angiomas). The most serious complication occurs when there is a spontaneous rupture of the angioma .

Only 1% of cases occur spontaneous angioma rupture, however, this complication can be very serious and requires rapid treatment because it causes a great loss of blood and It can cause a hypovolemic shock .

Another aspect to keep in mind, is that substances like Estrogens can cause tumor growth . This is the reason why there is a higher prevalence in women than in men.

Specifically, in the case of women with hepatic angiomas who become pregnant, Increasing the amount of estrogen in your body can cause increased tumor growth.

Other factors, such as pills contraceptives waves hormone replacement therapies they may be related to the growth of the angioma. However, there is a great deal of controversy regarding this assertion, which means that an individualized assessment is necessary for each case.

Kassabach-Merritt syndrome

This syndrome, very rare, and that affects children mainly , is characterized by the formation of giant hepatic angiomas and the appearance of coagulopathies.

The existence of a coagulopathy implies that the blood does not clot normally . The reason that explains this alteration is that the platelets, cells involved in coagulation, become trapped in the tumor and are destroyed.

Patients affected by this syndrome suffer continuous and severe hemorrhages. It is thought that this type of condition is actually a different variety of liver angioma, although with certain common characteristics.


Everything you need to know about liver angioma

The treatment of hepatic angioma it involves surgery . Through a surgical intervention in which the tumor is resected (removed).

Nevertheless, the great majority of hepatic angiomas do not require this intervention, because its presence does not pose a risk to the person who suffers it.

So, surgery reserves for cases in which the angioma produces pain pictures in the patient or complications that affect the correct functioning of the organs, something that happens with greater probability in the cases of giant hepatic angioma.

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